A comic crime caper about five Swedish pensioners who break out of their retirement home and become criminals.
When Lily of the Valley retirement home in Stockholm is sold to ghastly new owners and renamed Diamond House, the cloistered pensioners who reside there get fed up. Their food is "delivered and served under cellophane wrapping," and budget cuts curb their daily coffee consumption. Believing they would be better treated and have more freedom in prison, one clique at the facility--a close-knit group of five friends who, in their late 50s, decided to live together in old age--start a rebellion to test their theory. The group, banded together by 79-year-old, childless, crime fiction fan Martha Andersson, call themselves "The League of Pensioners" and go on the lam. The League consists of handsome, dapper Rake; Oscar "Brains," an optimistic solution-finder and inventor; Christina, who's in search of simple pleasures; and hard of hearing Anna-Greta, a former banker and financier. The quintet set out to rob from the rich and contribute the funds to improve living conditions for seniors throughout Sweden. After a successful robbery at a luxury hotel, they attempt the heist of a Renoir and a Monet from the National Museum that ultimately lands them behind bars. The missing paintings, however, continue to elude the police and ultimately, even the Yugoslavian mafia.
A comedy of errors, oversights and obstacles infuse Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg's clever American debut, where a spirited cast of walker-dependent characters in their 70s and 80s cause hilarious, escalating antics that will have readers of all ages rooting for their cause.
Harper Paperbacks, $15.99 Paperback, 9780062447975, 400 pp
Publication Date: July 12, 2016
Note: This review is a reprint and is being posted (in a slightly different form) with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (7/19/16), link HERE